Puget Sound Tenants Union

Organizing During COVID-19

The Puget Sound Tenants Union was created on the cusp of the COVID-19 crisis when tenants across the world starting losing their jobs and fearing they would lose their shelter as well.

The Puget Sound Tenants Union wants to organize with tenants in response to the current crisis, guided by two simple goals: We are organizing to demand rent suspensions and rent forgiveness from landlords for as long as the crisis continues. If you’re struggling to pay rent because of the pandemic, let’s talk!

Withholding our rent collectively is our leverage to demand rent suspension for those who can’t pay. Talk to everyone who lives in your building to find out who needs help and who’s willing to do the right thing. We’re standing together for everyone’s right to shelter!

Staying Safe

Organizing has traditionally relied on face-to-face conversations. Doing this during the pandemic poses particular challenges. You can still meet your neighbors by going door-to-door, but make sure to stay safe:

  • Wear a mask. Medical-grade is best, but homemade is okay if you don’t have one.

  • Once you knock on a door, stand as far back from it as you can. This isn’t just safe, it’s respectful!

  • Keep your conversations short. Explain why you’re there and ask for contact info to keep talking without in-person interaction.

  • If you’re handing out flyers:

    • Wash your hands before you prepare them and before you hand them out. If you touch your face, wash them again! You can never be too sure.
    • Provide safety instructions on the flier: “this was handled carefully with clean hands, but please wash your hands after touching it just in case!”
    • Gloves are good, but they aren’t magic. Putting on a new pair of gloves is about the same as one thorough hand wash.